What are some highlights of popular futures trading platforms?
Futures brokerage firms typically offer trading platform options including a “free” version along with an array of premium platforms for additional cost. Last issue, we discussed various types of platform subscriptions and capabilities. This time, we’ll focus on a few of the more popular trading environments available, their costs, and highlights.
The free trading platforms provided to brokerage clients are often developed in-house and are, therefore, only available at the firm offering it. Don’t automatically assume the platform is inferior to the high-cost options.
In fact, one of the most efficient and feature-rich platforms we’ve made available to our DeCarley Trading clients is accessible at no cost to clients. Don’t forget, brokerage firms only make money when their clients trade, so strides are made to ensure it is as easy for clients to pull the trigger.
Premium platforms are developed by third parties whose sole purpose is to generate revenue via platform subscriptions, sales, and fees. These vendors don’t benefit from trading commission or any other fees you pay to your brokerage firm. Accordingly, they have an incentive to continually improve their product for traders. If they didn’t, traders would opt for the free options. For those looking for upgraded charting, complex order types, the ability to save settings or host contingent orders on a server, a premium platform might better accommodate.
Some of the most popular paid-for platforms are QST (Quick Screen Trading), Cunningham Trading System’s T4, and Rithmic’s R-Trader. Each platform has significant capabilities with various strengths; consequently, I’ve arranged to offer all of them to my brokerage clients along with free platform choices. I cannot do these platforms justice in a brief description, but it’s worthwhile to provide a synopsis.